Who we are
Red Ladder is a radical theatre company with 45 years of history. The company is acknowledged as one of Britain’s leading national touring companies producing new theatre, contributing to social change and global justice. Red Ladder is funded by Arts Council England and by Leeds City Council.
Founded in 1968 in London, the company has a colourful history rooted in the radical socialist theatre movement in Britain known as agitprop. Born into an era of riots, demonstrations and revolts, Red Ladder has grown up, kicking and screaming, into the 21st Century, where it continues to fight, to entertain, and to agitate in as equal measures as possible.
Red Ladder exists to create theatre about and around human struggle. To do this, our work must be galvanising and stimulating; generous and life affirming ; collaborative and visionary ; fearless; of and for many people.
We seek to redefine and reclaim notions of popular, political and radical in a theatre context, and place politics and accessibility as twin and complementary facets of a people’s theatre. We use our unique history as a leadership resource for theatre and theatre-makers seeking contemporary forms which speak to the politics of the now. “When the best leaders’ work is done the people shall say ‘We did it ourselves’” Lao Tzu
Meet the team
Rod became Artistic Director of Red Ladder Theatre Company in 2006, following his role as associate director at the Barbican Theatre in Plymouth. He has also ran The Hub Theatre School in Cornwall and been an actor with several companies including Kneehigh Theatre. Directing credits for Red Ladder include Where’s Vietnam?, Forgotten Things, Riot, Rebellion & Bloody Insurrection, Ugly, Sex & Docks & Rock ‘N’ Roll, Big Society! and Promised Land. Rod is both a life-long Liverpool supporter and a believer in Proudhon’s principles of anarchy – the two might be connected.
A Red Ladder employee of six years, Chris is still in constant awe of the talent he has to work with at the company. Lloydy stumbled across Red Ladder after stints at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Rosehill Theatre in Cumbria, three years in the south of Spain and ten years in London at Theatre Royal Stratford East and The Shaw Theatre in Euston.
Never happier than when sitting in his parlour counting his pennies Chris occasionally emerges, blinking, into the theatrical spotlight for opening nights, launches, free lunches and end of tour thrashes.
Jason has worked with Red Ladder since 2008, working as ASM on productions including Where’s Vietnam? By Alice Nutter, Forgotten Things by Emma Adams, Big Society! by Boff Whalley and Promised Land by Anthony Clavane. His credits as stage manager include Ugly by Emma Adams, Monday by Paula B Stanic and Bittersweet Sunshine by Ben Tagoe. Jason also recently worked as Assistant Technical Director on Tranny Hotel, which was held over three days at the Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool and works as a freelance SM with local theatre groups. Jason classes himself as a “lucky boy” to have such a rewarding job working with so many talented and gifted people.
Press and PR Manager
Jane fell in love with Red Ladder while working as Press Officer at West Yorkshire Playhouse. The affair began, the marriage ended and she hasn’t looked back since, handling publicity for Big Society! starring Phill Jupitus, Promised Land, and national tours of Boff Whalley’s Sex & Docks & Rock ‘N’ Roll and Emma Adams’ Ugly. Jane is also PR Account Manager for Bonner & Hindley, where her theatre clients include Dark Horse Theatre and The Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield.
Bernard Atha, Leeds City Councillor
Rose Cuthbertson, Freelance Arts Manager and Consultant, Yorkshire
Emma Melling, Project Coordinator, Cartwheel Arts
Teresa Brayshaw, Leeds Met University
Martyn Potter, HR Consultant, PKF (UK)
Stephen Bottoms, Professor of Theatre, Manchester University
Red Ladder is always seeking new members who are interested in the future activity of the company, if you would like to express an interest please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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